Out of the Lodge and Into the Living Room: Taxidermy Goes Mainstream

April 10, 2014 by  

If you’re ready bring something wild into your interior decorating plans, taxidermy is one of the hottest trends out there. What was once the domain of hunting lodges or old men showcasing their woodland victories in finished basements and dens has now become a favorite staple of mainstream interior designers. Far from being stodgy or weird, the new taxidermy can be bold and dramatic, or funny and lighthearted, as designers have taken the look in entirely new directions.

If you’re curious about incorporating taxidermy into your home decor, there are lots of great ways to make the look work for your space. Start by defining your own personal home decorating style, and you’ll know which types of taxidermy are right to achieve the feeling you’re going for. Ready to dive into the brave new world of taxidermy? Great! Here are some tips to help you do it the right way:

1. Use one large, dramatic piece – If you’re going for a bold, intense decorating style, the key is to use one very large piece of taxidermy, such as a moose or bear head. These pieces tend to look best over a fireplace or centered on a large wall with a sizable piece of furniture (such as a side table or buffet) situated underneath. The trick to using larger pieces of taxidermy is to use it as the room’s focal point. If you go this route, keep it simple. Don’t use any other taxidermy to decorate the space. In fact, you should choose understated decor for the rest of the room to ensure that your flair for the dramatic doesn’t turn into a look that is too cluttered or busy.

crowtaxidermy2. Choose a few small pieces of taxidermy – If you prefer smaller taxidermy pieces, purchasing a few of them, and either grouping them together or strategically arranging them with other decorative objects around the room lends to a cohesive look. This style tends to be less dramatic than one large piece, and it lets you create a theme without overpowering the space.

3. Using the real deal – Unless you have a hunter in the family, you might be at a loss as to how to go about finding real taxidermy pieces. Until recently, it wasn’t something that most people were in the market to buy. For the uninitiated, you can sometimes find them in thrift stores, junk shops, and stores selling antiques and curiosities. Searching for them in these types of stores can be half the fun, but since it’s a hit or miss prospect, you might want to call ahead if you’re pressed for time. Depending upon where you live, you might also have some luck finding them on Craigslist.

Many hunters end up accumulating more pieces than they care to own, and might sell you one. One surefire way to get your hands on them is to look up taxidermists in your area. Oftentimes, the professionals who provide taxidermy services are also hunters and will have pieces for sale. Even if they don’t, they’ll certainly know where to direct you.

4. Go faux – If you love the look of taxidermy, but have moral objections to hunting, or simply can’t stand the thought of having dead animals in your home, there are still lots of options available to you. You’ll be able to find everything from faux deer heads that are so realistic looking, they’ll make you do a double take to ensure that they’re really fake, to unrealistic artistic renderings that have a great time playing with the theme. For example, in adult spaces, you might choose a mounted ceramic bear head or a three-dimensional cardboard fox or moose head. For nurseries and children’s bedrooms, you can opt for the softer, sweeter look of taxidermy stuffed animal heads. Because of the popularity and rising demand for faux taxidermy, independent artists are producing them at a prolific rate. Check Etsy and you’ll find a vast array to choose from!

Taxidermy can help you create a decor scheme that is whimsical and lighthearted or bold and dramatic, depending on your approach. No matter which style you prefer, by following these simple steps to using taxidermy in your home design plans, you won’t have to worry that you’ve crossed the line between tasteful kitsch and totally tacky. Ready to start shopping for your first piece of taxidermy? Good luck and happy hunting!

photo credit: Curious Expeditions | Curious Expeditions via photopin

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